Do you find it depressing when your childhood likes are lost? You know, like when you used to love to eat marshmallows, but now, could care less? Or you liked to roll around in the grass, but now it just makes you itch? These are pretty lame examples, I admit, but how about that TV show that you loved to watch growing up, but now when you see it, you have to look away because it is so bad?
I’ve recently realized that one of my almost childhood likes is definitely lost. When I was in my late teens, I would every now and then catch an episode of Bill Nye, the Science Guy. It was fun to watch because he made the topics he addressed fun and interesting, even to an almost 20-year-old. I was glad to see someone make science interesting, because all of the science shows I grew up with during my actual childhood were BORING! (Disclaimer – I don’t truly know now if they were actually boring, or if I was just not interested, or didn’t have the patience to watch them).
But now, every time I see Bill Nye, I just have to close my eyes and put my fingers in my ears, because he spouts more nonsense than science these days. As I look at the profile of his late 90s show on IMDb, the summary describes him as a scientist/comedian, but I would argue that those should be switched. He was entertaining and based on his recent appearances in relation the Earth Day and the “Science March” and a nasty “discussion” on CNN where he attempts to belittle a climate change skeptic, I have to say he fits right in with most “entertainers” with his shockingly leftist ideas and methods of dealing with opposing viewpoints. Let me cite some examples to prove my point:
He publicly said that climate change skeptics (he calls them “deniers”) should be removed from scientific discourse. Fair warning, the link goes to salon.com, so be sure to get your waders on tight before walking into that muck. Sounds like a leftist idea to me – just silence the opposition because they don’t adhere to MY set of “facts”. This grinds against the very core of scientific inquiry. We should never be content with today’s “facts” or today’s technology or today’s “accepted” ideas. Why would anyone serious about scientific inquiry and research ever say this? The rest of the article is as alarming and gloomy and leftist as you can imagine.
He claims, like many leftists, that we just haven’t spent enough money to acheive our goals. We hear this all the time right? Spend more money on public assistance, on unemployment benefits, on food stamps, on any leftist ideal-pick one you like, and eventually, once we’ve spent enough money, we will solve the problem. How much is enough we ask? The answer – Keep spending until the problem is fixed. Seriously? He claims that we haven’t spent enough money on alternative energy to make it work efficiently. Translation – the government hasn’t invested enough taxpayer dollars in failing alternative energy companies (usually owned by people who are politically well connected) to find the one company (if it even exists) that can make solar and wind power viable alternatives to oil, coal, and natural gas. Look, if these energy sources were truly able to compete with fossil fuels, why would a company need government (actually, your) money to make them financially successful? There would be investors beating down their doors to get in on the certain financial windfall from such a success. He rambles on in the Salon article referenced above about not only investing more in the tecnologies, but tries to imply that all of the problems with them are solvable, with more money. If more money was invested we could figure out how to not kill birds and bats with wind farms, and how to make better solar cells, blah, blah, blah. But we should just go ahead and invest the money because these technologies will pay for themselves AND create millions of jobs if we just sink enough money into them. But it won’t happen, because wind and solar, without major technological breakthroughs, cannot provide the raw amount of power needed for our technologically advanced nation. Which leads to the next point.
Bill Nye, along with others, also claims that the fossil fuel companies are deliberately holding back progress on alternative energy source research because they are afraid of losing their monopoly and profits. What bunk! All major fossil fuel companies are also researching alternative energy sources. They already know how to produce, process and deliver energy sources, so why would they not continue to research other means of providing energy? See this article from climatechangenews.com from last year citing moves by the companies they call “big oil” (That’s not a term of endearment). Read the article with your eyes, ears and mind open, as it takes an alarmingly negative slant to the news that “big oil” is investing in renewable/clean/alternative energy and cites ulterior motives like (gasp!) making money, as the main drivers of this “change”.
Nye also claims that climate change skeptics “cherry pick” data to try to disprove climate change alarmists, but this is nothing compared to the behavior of multiple “scientific” studies of climate change by otherwise reputable organizations. From NOAA’s manipulation of raw temperature data to the IPCCs “hockey stick” graphs of temperature readings designed to exaggerate the increase in temperatures, to the Climatic Research Unit’s hacked emails that implied an inability to gather the specific data (increasing temperatures) they were looking for based on their models and what they could do about that. The assumption was always that the data that supported their models was there, but they didn’t know how to collect it. Right… You would be wise NOT to rely on Wikipedia’s articles on these controversies as they are decidedly skewed, which is a sad state of affairs for a supposedly “neutral” information source.
Last, our friend Bill is less informed about the Constitution than he is about science. He has repeatedly taken Article I, Section 8 of our founding document wildly out of context. He rambles on about how the government is charged “to promote the progress of science and useful arts”. “Useful arts” in this context, according to him is actually engineering and design. I disagree with this definition and you will see why shortly. He seems to think that this is grounds for demanding money from the government for research and other scientific efforts, but this interpretation is SO WRONG. Bill conveniently leaves out the rest of the sentence, which puts this statement into proper context – “by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”. This allows the government to make laws concerning patent and copyright. It is not a mandate to support unwarranted or unpopular research, or for that matter to support crude art in typical National Endowment for the Arts style.
It is hard watching Bill Nye be so wrong about so many things with the disturbing confidence he displays, and at times the abrasive and rude condescension he shows to anyone who disagrees with him is stomach-churning. The end-all, be-all arbiter of scientific knowledge he is not, particularly on climate change (even though he wrote a book about it), but he makes a great acolyte to, and defender of, the religion of man-made climate change because he’s so polite when he insults those who disagree with him. His understanding of the constitution is even less comprehensive and unfortunately, no one has called him out on this. Alas, I feel all icky inside thinking I once thought he was cool.